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Home > Books > Mason > North American Bows, Arrows and Quivers > Plate LXVIII
Plate LXVIII
Sinew Backed Bows of Eskimo

Plate showing Murdoch's Arctic type of bow. The noteworthy features are-

First. These bows are much shorter than those of southern type and are said by Murdoch to be of very graceful shape. In some examples the ends are bound up as in some of the southern bows and the back reenforced with a short rounded splint of wood or antler in the bend.

Second. The backing of these bows is always "of a very complicated and perfect pattern, usually very thoroughly incorporated with the bow by means of hitches and a very complete seizing of many turns running nearly the whole length of the bow and serving to equalize the distribution of the strain and thus prevent cracking."

Third. Another notable feature is in some examples the division of the backing into two cables in which the twist runs in opposite directions so that when the two cables are sewed together neither one can untwist. The examples shown in the plate are numbered as follows:

First. Cat. No. 1972, U.S.N.M. Arctic bow from the Mackenzie region, back and side view. Collected by Ross.

Second. Cat. No. 89245, U. S. N. M., from Point Barrow, collected by the U. S. Inter national Polar Expedition. The wood is in shape of a Tatar bow. Figures 12 and 13 show the left-handed and right-handed "soldier's hitch."

Plate LXVIII
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